Another chance to pick our new canvas..2018

A new year has begun offering us another chance to pick our new canvas to paint with colours of our choice. I wish this year brings happiness and peace to all. Any New Year resolutions you may ask? Unusually, I’ve begun many things along the way in 2017 that I’d want to keep going for in 2018. I want 2018 to give me the patience to pursue them with conviction and perseverance.

Like every year we shall grow older and hopefully wiser too. What do I wish for to happen in 2018? I wish to lessen the chaos in my headspace and help me open up for experiences. A less chaotic space in the head is a better home for fruitful thoughts. I wish to nurture ideas that can bring about positivity; positivity in my thoughts, words and action. I wish to love unconditionally. I wish to quieten my ego, to remove any pain of guilt, to become my own and remain comfortable under my skin. I wish to strengthen my body, mind and soul. I wish to have more hygge time. I wish to wilfully be in the present. I wish to read more, hear more and travel more which allows the immense knowledge to pour in. I wish to keep it simple.

I’ve realised numbered goals are making less and less sense for me. I want to continue to have fun at my fitness classes. It would simply erase the happiness if I start to tell myself that my fitness goal is to lose ‘X’ kilos. I want to continue to have fun with the words that feeds my brain while I read stories, essays and blogs. It would burden me if I tell myself to read ‘Y’ books every week / month / year. I want to continue to have fun sharing my thoughts in my writing. I do not want to mark a tick at the end of 2018 with ‘Z’ blogs in my list of ‘what I did in 2018’. I know sometimes deadlines and numbers can help us push our boundaries to conquer better results. But, isn’t it a good idea to also give focus on the journey rather than just the destination? Every time I travel I realise it’s the journey that formulates our experience and learning which is far more satisfying than the mere destination which without a doubt shall give us a sense of victory.

Well, well.. 2018 has begun well. The supermoon illuminated our skies.

I read some amazing books in 2017 which spoke out to me elevating my moods with inspiration, humour and perspectives. It continues to echo its waves for 2018. I’m currently reading ‘A man called, Ove’ by Fedrick Backman, a Swedish writer. It’s a story of an angry old man next door. As I read halfway into this book I’ve begun to adore Ove. He’s angry, but, he’s also a hero. What I like about this book is, it’s a story narrated in such a way that anybody from anywhere could relate to it. I recommend this book for its simplicity. You could also watch the movie if you prefer.

During Christmas holidays I happened to spend some fun time painting this:



Take it slow..


The season changed. A cold winter is right here giving us a chill. It’s been many weeks since I blogged here. I haven’t been busy at all. In these weeks I have been taking it slow. Doing one thing at a time and doing it at ease. It’s a self prescribed therapy to untie those knots in my body and mind.

In my world – multi-tasking is a norm, being busy is a norm, working hard is a norm and relaxing is usually meant for vacation. I’ve been a very competitive kid too. I have this urge to excel in anything I do. This pattern probably resulted in critiquing every move I make and my mind is forced to be very hard on me. There is also an enthusiasm to push my boundaries which would eventually burn me out, but, I wouldn’t slow down or stop. This kind of lifestyle is definitely full of energy.

Also, I enjoy discussions. The varied topic offers my brain with something new to learn. It’s a perfect meal for my butterfly brain.

So, being the quiet and slow would mean days are going to be different. This can get me very uncomfortable. You could imagine what a leap my mind has taken to challenge me with such behavioural change and has ironically decided to call it a ‘therapy’. There is nothing wrong in being either fast and furious or quiet and slow. It’s just a challenge to bring a new perspective in my life. I’m beginning to practice a quiet and slow life. I’ve started the process of slowing down with simple things like, appreciating the time I’ve got, acknowledging how grateful I am to have this life, taking care of every cell in my body, encouraging myself to read more and speak less.

Let’s see how this journey goes.





What all I can think of.. when I walk, jog or run.

I’ve become a big fan of ‘movement’, in it’s very literal sense. I enjoy going to the park for a walk, jog or run. There are three ways I enjoy such moments. One, I quiet down to hear my heart beat giving the rhythm, breeze tuning in like a flute, birds joining in with their chorus to transform the distant voice to a high volume music. Second, it’s time to have a conversation with myself, the deep dialogue necessary to get my shit together or a peppy talk to up my spirits. Third, I’m walking beside marido and we are having some funny conversation or narrating stories. Essentially my best hour of the day.

Last week my thoughts were something like this:

‘Ever since I was born, the earth has revolved around the sun for just thirty one times. I’ve seen thirty one summers and thirty one winters. In these years so much has changed – the way this planet looks, the way we look, the way we travel, the way we communicate, and the way we think. Thirty one, might make you think I’ve centred myself in this story. That isn’t true, but, what’s true is I could be my only reference. When I was born I didn’t know I’d walk so many miles and leave my footprint in so many places across this globe. Every travel, every place and every person I’ve interacted with have gone into a special space in my memory map.’

‘It’s also crazy when you realise there is absolutely no-one who has walked exact, same-to-same life as that of yours. You must know you are so unique that even with time travel no one would be able to repeat all the things you’ve done at that point in time. You and only you’ve got the magic trick to time travel on the moments you froze in your brain disk.’

Mind jumps like a monkey and leaves no trail. At the end of an hour of walk, jog or run I wonder where did the conversation begin and how did it flip through so many topics.


Camping in our little tent

I started reading Amy’s ‘Yes Please‘. She starts off by narrating her early days on stage playing less interesting roles. She explains her urge to blurt random new dialogue on stage and how it turned out funny. Reading her memoir I was taken back to my school days where I was dragged into a handful number of plays. I was far too focused on delivering right and I never thought much about the role I was given. While I was five, I was transformed into a vegetable girl with necklace of carrots, chilli belt and brinjal bangles for a fancy dress. Seriously, a vegetable girl! starts here and doesn’t get any better. We did a play for environment day. It was called ‘mara mathanadithu’ (a tree spoke). Moral of the play was to stop cutting trees. We who played various roles were a gang of girls who grew up in the same neighborhood. We’d practice this play for about 15 plus days in a park at our layout. Everyday after school we would get together and practice for hours. Everyone struggled practicing their dialogues and emotions. A friend and I had a very crucial role to play, yet, didn’t need any practice. We were the trees. Seriously, trees! They could have kept cardboard, but, no. We were made to attend every practice session. I wish I blabbered some ghostly dialogues while we were on stage. Cheap thrills! Ha ha.

Well Well.. On a serious note, I think my love for nature grew all the more after we performed this play. Last weekend we went camping amidst the Exmoor National Park. It was our first camping and trust me the preparation felt more like shifting home than vacation. Marido and I went crazy with shopping, packing and traveling. As we drove into the national park, mesmerizing country side view started to tell us that it was worth the efforts. The farm we camped was almost at the heart of this national park. We had our lunch and got on to making our tent. It was a struggle and finally after a good 45 minutes we’d built our home. We wanted to slide in and sleep for hours, but hey, getting our barbecue ready was on our mind. Delicious food v/s Good sleep, the great battle of mankind.

The facilities in the camping farm were amazing. The showers, cleaning and washing areas were very convenient and made our stay comfortable. The nights got biting cold. Even with our additional quilt and pull-over we shivered all the way. We got so occupied with small walks, cooking with the charcoal, washing vessels and arranging everything in our car. In the spare time we either lazed around on the grass under the beautiful sky and read some stories or watched others build their tent or saw the ducks and hens walking around the farm. Amidst all of this two days flew by. This camping was in no which way ‘rough’. Even then, it checked our endurance and definitely made me thank for the home and comfort I have in this life. If someone asked how my camping experience has been, I wouldn’t say ‘I loved camping’, ‘I’m excited to do another this weekend’ or ‘this was a relaxing vacation’. I think I’d say ‘I’d camp again probably next year and we’d prepare even better’.

That’s my raspberry lemonade cocktail in a plastic glass. ‘To nature. To camping’, Cheers.

Fjords, Norway – the sail (part 1)

Luck was on marido’s side when we chose our wedding date, it’s just five days away from my birthday. I know that makes it fairly easy for him to get me ‘all in one’ gift, take one vacation, one weekend fine dine etc etc.. Ahh ahh, you think I’ll let him get away with that! Ha ha. Now, we celebrate the whole week instead of just two days 😉 Many months ago marido came up with a brilliant idea of cruising this year. We’ve never cruised before, so we stored this special experience for our first wedding anniversary cum my birthday. I’m convinced even before I start, that, my write-up wouldn’t really justify our experience, but, let me give it a try.

It’s time to sing my cruise song, our journey to the Fjords of Norway.

You think first timers ain’t judgemental. It’s true that we don’t have a prior experience reference to compare with, however, we keep a score of ‘loved it’ and ‘hated it’ by comparing them with similar and sometimes even vaguely similar situations. For example, sitting in airport lounges waiting for the flight to board you is as painful as sitting in the airplane for hours taking you across countries. On the contrary, we went to the port 3 hours before sailing and it took a minute to give away our luggage, 15 minutes to process our documents and get our cruise cards, 5 minutes in security and in a blink we were on board. We reached our cabin in another 5 minutes that includes a walk on the gangway, a cheek to cheek smiling welcome photograph and taking the lift to seventh floor. We weren’t even thinking of our suitcases and guess what, they were already standing outside our cabin, you know, like those statues to welcome you. Food!, our stomachs grumbled. We went straight up-to the restaurant. The captain’d said, there is one man on this ship who gets maximum applauds in the beginning, but, by the end of cruise everyone hates him for giving them those extra waistlines, he’s ‘the chef’. How true! We ate such delicious meal all along.

In a few hours we settled in comfortably. The ship became our beloved home. This home held around 2000 passengers and 900 crew. Probably we were among the younger travellers of this cruise by age. Energy of the much older crowd, if not as much as ours, was delightfully higher. Trust me!. They’d dress up for the bow tie nights, dance on the floors, gamble in casinos, join the tough walk tours, win bottles of wine in quiz, sing along with karaoke. It was an inspirational sight for us. It taught us an essential lesson. Life isn’t complete until you’ve walked all your miles. It isn’t finished until the flat line beeps on your monitor. So, till then, kick in your suitcases and kick out any apprehensions. Explore and Experience.

Art and Entertainment. In the last few years, I’ve made conscious efforts in attending events and trying art. Marido has happily joined along, okay I admit, forcefully for a few. Anyway, together we’ve attended musical shows, watched painting in the galleries and museums, laughed until our stomach hurt in stand-up comedies. What happened in the ship was, a pamphlet which would have a list of events that’d run the following day, would be dropped in our cabin every evening. We’d eagerly wait for it and plan our shows. We watched two stand up comedies, two dance drama and a piano concert during the cruise. A dance drama that portrayed the musical band ‘Queen’ remained our favourite. We had to walk past an art gallery when we went to watch these shows. The artists had coloured their canvas with the modern day randomness. We liked a few. The eyes were so well defined in the hairy highland cows painting. Busy day rush, modern politics and war were simply put in the hundreds of images created in the form of stencil men – it was a very interesting piece of art. The double deck red bus on a well lit street just after a rain was reflecting stories of a common man.

I can keep singing this cruise song in loop, writing its lyrics and humming its tunes. Let me grab a coffee for now.

Voice of a routine!

It’s 6am. My alarm rings, Mom has called twice and it’s time to get ready for the day’s noise.

I freshen up and gulp my milk to gear up for my day. Dad chases my cab in our honda activa like a superman and we manage to stop the cab that would have missed me otherwise. I get in to nap again while my cab crawls like a snake in the Bangalore traffic.

I reach office in a sleepy face. First things first. I splash some water with a pace and give my eyes a liner and tie up my hair.

I keep my bag and walk to the big window to watch the endless sky and the buildings in construction.

Hi! Hello! Morning! some wishes exchange with near and dear cubicle ones

I already hear some mouse clicks while I walk to the elevator which takes me down to the canteen where I stand in long queue to grab my pongal upma poha dose vade chutney and sambar. Sometimes a sandwich wins.

I look up for emails and get to my work with focus. Someone interrupts or a phone rings and grabs my attention. Sometimes I cut the conversation and many times the conversation wins.

A few hours pass by and I decide to take a break. I make some coffee and sit by the sofa in the common area. Before my mind drifts to the thoughts of my morning, the printer prints and vomits bundles of paper.

I get back to the meetings and we argue over our points of view before we can conclude or roll it over for another day. My stomach has already begun to churn the liquids and is demanding for food.

The food coupons make their way in exchange for our mid day meal. I stuff the food in and talk to my colleagues about robots, drones, movies, sport and anything under the stars.

Morning repeats post noon. However the heavy lunch leaves me with a sleep to battle. After a few hours, its time to grab my bag and run to my cab that takes me back home. Yes, you hear more vehicle sounds and a lot more snores. The balloon sellers are now selling car mats, wipes and shades.

I come home with almost no energy left for the sport I love. As I rest on the sofa with a small snack and a coffee, my mother is watching TV that’s showing all the woman villains in their drama. This runs for four hours every evening and she wouldn’t let me switch to news, sport or documentaries.

I take a brisk walk and hear the dogs bark from a road further down. Neighbour aunty stops me for a quick chat. I come home and pull out my dumb phone to browse, browse and browse more.

Its dinner time. I relish the delicious food and have a word with my dad who’s had a busy day too. The book in my hand is narrating stories and the sleep has begun to conquer me. My mother reminds about the next day’s wake up call before I retire to bed.

Another routine day is waiting to arrive. Until it does, let the silence pour in. Lights off.


Fundamental issues – Food!

When we pull out annual statistics of the amount of food / agriculture produce we are wasting and the number of people dying out of hunger / malnutrition, it leaves me wondering why we aren’t able to plug one another. Despite our success in production, transportation and storage technologies, how is it that they haven’t turned affordable and deployable. Government policies, innovative business models and even corporate social responsibility have not been able to fix our fundamental issue, food. To live in an ideal world situation is an unrealistic ambition, but, to shrink the existing gap is an approachable goal, isn’t it? Where does it start?

Let us begin to understand, why do we produce more? Some produce like cereals and pulses can be stored for years when the supply can minimize due to natural conditions ex drought, extreme rain, etc. Why should we produce more fruits, vegetables and meat? They perish faster and managing their waste is another problem altogether. At the same time we have depleted our resources like the rich soil and water with excess farming and poultry. How could we bring a balance in demand and supply?

Now, why doesn’t the produce reach everyone? Aren’t they affordable or do they get wasted due to transport and storage issues? Or in the name of quality and assurance ex. length of a banana, color of a fruit etc, does a lot of produce get wasted at an industrial sector? Why can’t technology help in computing existing data of excess nutritious produce and help it reach children, women and adults who are suffering from malnutrition?

While some people who could afford a nutritious meal are turning to dieting, a nutritious meal is still far from reach for the below poverty line. Why?